It is thanks to magical nature and the air spa status that Zlatibor has enjoyed for 129 years, coupled with major investments, excellent infrastructure and a wide variety of facilities, that Zlatibor is the country’s number one tourist destination, a place where every day is pleasant, unique and different
Here Zlatibor Tourism Organisation Director Vladimir Živanović speaks with undisguised pride about previous and upcoming investments, the structure of guests, the enriching of the tourism offer, the area’s natural beauty and increasingly popular events, as well as revealing some plans for the coming seasons to CorD Magazine.
Despite facing strong competition, Zlatibor remains the most visited tourist destination in Serbia. How would you explain that?
Zlatibor enriches its tourist offer with new amenities year on year, and that is what sets it apart from the other destinations. Diverse contents, a high-quality offer and the blessings of nature attract even the most demanding guests, while ensuring regular visitors are happy to return again and again, because they are always awaited by something new on the “golden mountain”. Statistics also clearly show the notable progress of this tourist destination.
Visitors are predominantly still local guests, while there are also guests from the region – from Republika Srpska and Montenegro – but we are delighted by the increase in the number of guests from Western countries. Thanks to the Auto-Kamp vehicle campsite, Zlatibor is also visited by tourists from the Netherlands, Belgium and the Czech Republic. We have seen is a noticeable increase in the number of tourists coming from Romania, while there are also some arriving from Arab countries. Foreign guests account for approximately 30% of total visitors to Zlatibor.
We know that the gondola lift’s capacities have been increased and that work has been undertaken to improve event tourism and advance the complete tourist offer, but that isn’t all! With what kinds of new additions did you welcome this summer season?
The Gold Gondola Lift has placed Zlatibor on the map of world destinations, because it is the world’s longest single-segment panoramic cable car lift. It has been ridden by more than 360,000 tourists since operations were launched in January 2021. Apart from the nine-kilometre ride along the route in one direction, with the option to disembark at the Ribnica Lake interstation or at the final Tornik station, numerous new activities have been prepared for this summer season, such as archery, paragliding, recreation with entertainers from Čigota, workshops teaching old crafts etc. These activities are all free and intended for both children and adults.
On the occasion commemorating the Day of the Municipality of Čajetina, on 30th June, a multimedia fountain – complete with modern sound, lighting and laser effects – was made operational beside the remodelled Zlatibor Lake near Kraljev trg.
Event tourism is also on the rise here. We organise events not only in tourism spots, but also in all the villages of our region. The Municipality of Čajetina and the Zlatibor Tourism Organisation have prepared numerous concerts and cultural happenings for the Zlatibor Cultural Summer event. Bathing areas and swimming pools have been prepared in Zlatibor and the surrounding area, while we have also organised daytrips to Stopića Cave, Sirogojno’s Old Village [Staro Selo] Museum, the Gostilje Waterfall and other localities.
Guests are becoming increasingly demanding, but that doesn’t concern you because the Municipality of Čajetina will continue investing in infrastructure, facilities, contents and its overall offer. What are you planning for the period ahead?
The municipality has created a good business environment and attracted investors who are constructing excellent accommodation facilities, wellness and spa centres, and this season – to the benefit of active holidays – we are currently arranging and marking new hiking routes and cycle lanes. As the goal is for Čajetina to become Serbia’s first eco municipality, visitors can hire electric cars and bicycles with us, in order to raise awareness of environmental protection.
Zlatibor has become a mecca for the numerous sports teams that come here for preparatory training camps, which is why construction is being launched on a sports and recreational complex with approximately 20 open pitches.